Pet Tarantula Shoots Barbed Hairs Into Eyes
Initially prescribed with conjunctivitis the 29-year-old British man was sent home with an antibiotic ointment. It was until a visit 3 weeks later to hospital because the condition wouldn’t clear up that the man remembered the incident with his pet tarantula.
While examining the man’s eye with a high magnification the doctors found fine hair-like projections embedded in the man’s cornea. When they asked the patient if he had any idea of the cause he remembered his close encounter with his pet tarantula.
Scrubbing a stubborn stain from the terrarium (glass tank) the man became aware of a movement in the tank and as he turned his head he encountered a mist of hairs released by his Chilean Rose tarantula.
The hairy Chilean Arachnids are the most common tarantulas found in pet shops. With life span of upwards of 15 years for the female, and quiet temperament, they make popular pets. However, they are still a dangerous creature as this British owner found out.
The release of barbed hairs is a common form of defence by the tarantulas. They also have fangs capable of delivering a painful bite. Caution is recommended when handling a tarantula and eye protection could save you a painful encounter of the barbed hair kind.